US Champions Return to Play Sunshine Chess in Miami!

Miami, Aug. 10, 2008.- The grandmasters Irina Krush, two times US Women Champion, and Alexander Shabalov, four times US Men Champion, announced recently they will repeat his participation in the Miami Chess Open that will be played September 10-14 in the Magic City.

Some other strong players, as grandmasters Varuzh Akobian, Viktor Mikhalevski, Darmen Sadvakasov, Julio Becerra and Gilberto Hernández will also return to play the second edition of this tournament, with USD 100,000 in prizes.

The new faces will be the US grandmasters Alexander Ivanov, and Dmitri Gurevich, and the Mexican Juan Carlos Gonzalez.

Krush (2534 US Chess Federation rating), became a master at age 12, and won the 1998 US Women’s Championships at the age of 14, to become the youngest U.S. Women Champion ever. In 1994, she played second board for the silver-medal-winning American Women team at the 36th Olympiad. And in 2007, she reclaimed again the title of U.S. Women’s champion.

Shabalov (2656 USCF) has been US champion in 1993, 2000, 2003, and 2007, and is known for an uncompromising attacking style, always courting complications. Shabalov, with a USCF rating of 2656, studied under former world champion and fellow Rigan Mikhail Tal, but later he emigrated to the United States and settled in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

Akobian (2660 USCF), who will represent the United States in the next Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany, is a former US Junior Champion, and winner of the World Open (2 times), the North American Open and the National Open.

Sadvakasov (2632 FIDE), from Kazahakstan, won the World Junior Championship in 1998, and also won matches against Viktor Korchnoi in 2003 by the score 5-3 and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov in 2004 by the score 4.5-3.5.

Mikhalevski (2675 USCF) was born in Belarus, but currently resides in Israel, where he was twice champion under 20 (1991, 1992). He is a grandmaster since 1996 and in 1995 he won the Paris Open, in 2002 he finished 1st at the Firsts International Tournament in San Salvador, El Salvador, and in 2007 he won the Calvia Open, in Spain.

Becerra (2640 USCF and a four times Cuban champion), Ivanov (2612 USCF, US Champion in 1995, and Panamerican Champion in 1998), Gurevich (2581 USCF, and winner of the US Open in 1988 and 1994), the Cuban born Mexican Champion González (2556 FIDE), and the three times Mexican Champion Hernandez (2592 USCF) will be important competitors too.

Among female players we also have WFM Liulia Cardona (2257) who was the second highest rated female player in Cuba before she arrived to the US.

The hours of play will be: Wednesday 10 at 7pm, the 11th at 1pm and 7pm, on the 12th and the 13th at 11am and 6pm and on Sunday the 14th at 10 am and 4:30pm but there also different schedules for the players wanting to play the event in 3 or 4 days if the participant prefers it.

Aside from that and completely free in different rooms within the hotel facilities (Hyatt Regency, 400 SE 2nd Ave. Tel: (305) 358-1234) conferences, analysis of games and simultaneous will be offered, in all cases by grandmasters and the most outstanding players of the event.

We would like to remind the media that the pictures with flash should be taken within the first ten minutes of the game been played. The spectators will have the opportunity to follow the games in a projected screen that will be at the tournament site.

We should call the attention to the fans about the prizes offered in this event. 100,000 USD in prizes will be given with 70% of these prizes guaranteed regardless of the amount of players who sign up. There will be 8 different sections or categories (Open, under 2100,under 1900,under 1700, under 1500, under 1300, under 1100 and one for players who do not have any rating).

The party is about to begin! Don’t miss it!

Blas Lugo
Tournament director

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